Fianna Fáil Councillor, John Paul Feeley has joined the welcome for the allocation of a further €902,317 under the Local Improvement Scheme for 2022 bringing the total allocation to Co. Cavan for the year to €1,273,457 and represents a slight increase on funding from 2021.
This announcement is welcome but given that there are almost 200 applications still on hand, the allocation will only complete around 20 roads before the end of this year and this is, unfortunately, inadequate.
It is only when allocations are made and precise costing prepared that we can be certain as to how many roads will be done, but given the lack of contractors able to take on the work and the increased cost of materials this allocation will not have the dramatic effect on the list we would all like to see. Costs to complete roads can vary from €30,000 to €200,000 depending on the length and condition of the specific roads in question.
In 2021 the allocation of €1,119,389 completed 23 roads around the county. The 2022 allocation will, subject to the roads continuing to meet the qualifying criteria, allow the Council to deal with applications received in 2015 and early 2016.
Sadly, we are dealing with a backlog created as a result of the failure of Fine Gael to make any provision for the Local Improvement Scheme from 2012 onwards until 2021 and thereafter the allocations have simply been too small to make any headway.
Thankfully, under the current Government, allocations have almost doubled, however the allocations should be made at the start of the year to maximise what Council can do with the money provided.
Funding under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme (ORIS) will allow Cavan County Council improve amenities across the County. The allocations cover locations from Lough an Leagh in East Cavan to the Seán Eamon Ruairí Trail in Glangevlin.
As someone who lives near the Seán Eamon Ruairí Trail, I am conscious that, in recent years, it has fallen into significant disrepair. The Trail was first developed 2000. Some maintenance has been completed in recent years but this allocation of €30,000 will allow the route be brought to a proper standard. Aside from the magnificent views and the opportunity the walks give to experience the environment of West Cavan, it also commemorates one of the last native speakers in our County recorded by the Comissiún Béaloidis and is particularly apt as we reflect on the 100th Anniversary of the short-lived Gaeltacht in Glangevlin.
Garvagh Lough Amenity, Gowlan, Blacklion will be further enhanced with an allocation of €18,000 and will build on the work done in recent months at that location.
The allocation of €30,000 for works at Rann Point is particularly welcome. This location which gives the best views of Clough Oughter Castle has unfortunately been subject to anti-social behaviour. Hopefully, when the amenity is better presented, it will encourage more families to use the area and deter anti-social behaviour.
Other allocations include the development of a new heritage trail in Bawnboy.
In addition to specific funding an allocation has been made to the Cuilcagh Lakelands Geopark of €19,845 towards marketing of the numerous trails within the Geopark and €43,200 to assist Cavan County Council in developing a Masterplan for Angling, a segment of our tourism industry that has not developed as we would have liked in recent years.
Contracts will be signed today appointing consultants to design flood relief measures for Cavan Town within a period of 24 months. The need for this scheme was identified by the CFRAM Study completed by the OPW over the last few years. Based on an initial desk-top study the Scheme was thought likely to cost in the region of €4 million. However with more detailed design and construction inflation it is more likely to be in the region of €7 million to construct. The work of the consultants will focus on the Area for Further Assessment (’AFA’) from the Bus Station, the Dublin Road and out to Poles, areas that have had flooding issues in recent years. Protecting homes and premises from flooding is essential. I welcome this important step and acknowledge the work of the Council Staff involved who have worked closely with colleagues in the OPW.